Wide area file services, or WAFS, is a storage technology that allows businesses
and enterprises to access remote
data centers as if they were local. WAFS allow
multiple agencies to manage data, data archiving
and wide area file services products and provide a combination of distributed
file systems and caching technology to allow real-time,
read-write access to shared file storage from any location. A wide area file
services is an alternative system to a wide-area network (WAN).
* WAFS systems usually consist of edge file gateway (EFG) appliances, which are
placed at remote offices, and one or more central server (CS) appliances that
allow storage resources to be accessed by the EFGs. [Source:
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Enabling File Sharing over the WAN
File distribution between remote locations is a hot topic in the enterprise world. But, to make it a reality, designers need to deliver systems that effectively handle file transfers across the WANs. Fortunately, WAFS boxes provide a strong alternative.
Remote Management: WAFS, WAN Optimize, or Wait?
Remote storage access is a challenge for any organization with branch offices separated by distance from the corporate data center. Latency, in particular, is a big issue. The widely used CIFS and NFS protocols, for example, are very chatty, and performance degrades rapidly as latency increases.
Cisco Goes Wide for File Services
Cisco's wide area file services allows companies to consolidate storage and server infrastructure, such as file and print servers or tape back-up devices, from the branch or the edge into the data center.
Wide-Area File Services for Windows
Despite continual improvement in storage technologies, dealing with storage and remote sites remains a thorn in the side of many administrators. Concerns about cost, security, excessive exposure of proprietary business data, and overall maintenance (backup and management) of offsite data are problems that have yet to find broadly accepted solutions.